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Student Engagement In November – Spiritual Wellness

The wellness wheel is comprised of eight dimensions of wellness: Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Environmental, Occupational, and Intellectual. The dimensions are interconnected and important to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. Student engagement at MSP aims to provide programming to address each dimension of the dimension wheel for the 2022-2023 academic year. Each month, a dimension of wellness will be highlighted with programming aimed at providing knowledge around different aspects of that dimension, often with a psychology lens.

The wellness wheel featuring each dimension of wellness with the Spitirual wellness piece pulled out and enlarged.
Click to enlarge.

The programming theme for November is Spiritual Wellness. Spiritual wellness represents one’s personal beliefs and values and involves having a sense of meaning, purpose, and a sense of balance and peace. Spiritual wellness looks different for each person and can often relate to the way each person identifies religiously, though spirituality and religion are not synonymous. Spiritual wellness includes recognizing our search for meaning and purpose, being part of the common good, and living a life that utilizes your values as the main driving force in decision-making and actions. As future Clinical Psychologists, it is important to recognize that each client comes with a spiritual identity that likely plays a large role in the way they move about life. While this may look like incorporating religious beliefs into everyday decision-making, it could also look like a client searching for a sense of meaning and purpose. Being a more spiritually-aware clinician can help clients to feel supported and understood in their mental health care. It is common for individuals to turn to spiritual beliefs during times of grief and suffering to help regain that sense of purpose and meaning in life. 

Tips for improving spiritual wellness:

  • Find an outlet that allows you to take time for yourself, such as yoga or meditation.
  • Take time to determine what values and beliefs are most important to your overall well-being and think about whether your recent actions and decisions align with those.
  • Find a community group that deepens your spiritual practice and connects you with others that have similar values and beliefs.
  • Reflect on what the word spirituality means to you.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Focus on your hobbies.
  • Talk with trusted individuals about your spiritual wellbeing.

Here is what MSP is doing in Novemberto promote spiritual wellness:

Community Events

November 9th, 1:15-4:30 PM: HAVEN Training: Creating a Culture of Consent. This program will define sexual assault/rape and ethical and affirmative consent. Participants will explore cultural narratives that surround sexual violence, ways they impact victims/survivors/their clients, and bystander intervention and responding strategies.

Educational Programming

November 4th, 7PM: Film Screening: Last Days of Chinatown. Join us for this free screening of the documentary The Last Days of Chinatown which looks into the effects the overhaul of Detroit’s Cass Corridor has on the district’s long-term residents. This screening is a part of MSP’s structural racism programming which is focusing on gentrification during the month of November. Following the screening, filmmaker Nicole Macdonald will be joining us via zoom for a discussion.

November 6th, 7-8 PM: PsyD Panel: Tips and Tricks for Surviving Grad School at MSP. The event will be held via Zoom and attendees will have the opportunity to ask current students questions about stress and time management, balancing school and personal life, and more. Students can ask questions anonymously during the event or directly to the panelists! This event is open to only current MSP students

November 10th, 5:00-5:45 PM: Not That Funny: Conversations about Microaggressions. Not That Funny is an activity designed to build awareness surrounding the origins of harmful common phrases and to build the skills needed to have conversations around these phrases when we hear them. As a part of MSP’s structural racism program, we encourage students to join us in this activity that is “designed to change the world, one awkward conversation at a time.”

November 15th, 12:15-1:15 PM: ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Sessions with Dr. River Farrell. ACT is considered a third wave cognitive behavioral approach. It is an orientation to behavior change and well-being that is based on functional contextualism as a philosophy of science, and behavioral and principles as expanded by relational frame theory. Through the six core ACT processes (mindfulness, acceptance, defusion, self as context, committed action, and values) clients are encouraged to develop psychological flexibility in order to engage fully in living rich, full, and meaningful lives. 

November 16th, 12:30-1:45 PM: Gentrification: The Physical and Symbolic Displacement of African American Detroiters and Its Impact on Mental Health. Erin White (MA ’18, PsyD ’22) will be presenting on the impact gentrification has had on African American Detroiters. Dr. White’s presentation will be based on her dissertation Gentrification: A narrative approach to understanding the experience of African American Detroiters in which she examined the physical and symbolic displacement of long-term residents.

November 21st, 5:00-5:50 PM: Eating Disorders Presentation. Valerie Luxon, PsyD, CEDS-S from MYBody, a practice that was “intentionally created to provide mental health services for eating disorders, addiction, mood disorders” will be presenting on eating disorders and treatment. 

Kinsey Tekiele

Each month our Coordinator of Admissions and Student Engagement, Kinsey Tekiele will be joining us on the blog to share more information about the dimension of wellness for that month and the programming events that connect to it. More information about student programming can be found here and a full list of events at MSP can be found here.